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Sanjo Blacksmith Dojo

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The tools...

Center of a strong blacksmith tradition; paradise for "Edward Scissorhands"

In Sanjo, a traditional town with many temples, the blacksmith tradition is reaching back to 1625. In that year the area suffered from a major flood. In order to prevent more flooding of the paddy fields, barriers were built. The nails used for putting these barriers together were originally made by craftsmen from Tokyo but the locals soon learned the craft. Ever since blacksmithing and metal industry has been a major business in Sanjo.

the master craftsman...

In order to preserve the tradition and pass it on to the younger generation, the Sanjo Blacksmith Dojo was set up. Here master craftsmen teach the forging technique to Sanjo's young people and interested visitors. One can learn how to forge different types of nails or a knife's plate.

and the clumsy apprentice.

Sanjo is famous for its metal industry throughout Japan. Best-known are gardening scissor and sewing scissors, cooking knifes, carpenter tools, farming tools etc. If you ever need a new set of knifes for your kitchen or as a present, come for a knife-shopping spree at the various showrooms around town, especially the "Sanjo and Tsubame Messepia".

Point: Tsubame Curry Ramen
What was once a hearty meal in a cold part of Japan has now become a food trend.
There Is even a map to point out at least 20 restaurants serving curry ramen in Tsubame but we were told that there are plenty more.
Check:www.curry-ramen.com( External link )

Honjoji Temple

Head temple of the Hokke Sect of Nichiren Buddhism and Ichikawa Uncho location

Originally built in 1297 by Nichiin Shonin who walked around with a holy cow as he spread the teachings of Nichiren, the Lotus Sutra school of Buddhism. The large temple grounds house several buildings, including the main hall, a reception hall, a bell tower, a pagoda, a temple garden and a large temple gate opposite the main hall.

A statue of a white wooden cow is sacred to this temple and usually hidden from visitors. Next to it now sits the wood carving of another cow which was made by Uncho Ichikawa, a 19th century master carver sometimes called the "Michelangelo of Echigo". This temple holds several of Ichikawa's wood carvings, sculptures and wood panels showing worldly animals and mystical beasts.

The maestro also found his final resting place here. His grave stone can be found behind the main hall.

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